Good morning. I hope you had a great Easter and a happy Passover!
Today's word count is 1,383, or a 5-minute read.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
There's no clear strategy in place to resolve or prevent the shortages of testing supplies that have threatened the U.S. coronavirus response for more than a month.
Why it matters: We can now run hundreds of thousands of coronavirus tests a week, but it’s still not enough to meet the demand.
Driving the news: Efforts to ramp up manufacturing and importation of masks, gowns, gloves, face shields and ventilators make headlines almost daily. But reagents, swabs, test kits and RNA extraction kits haven't received the same amount of coordinated attention.
By the numbers: Even once the caseload goes down, assuming we continue social distancing for many more weeks, we'll still need widespread testing — likely 200,000-250,000 tests a day, said Harvard's Ashish Jha.
Yes, but: President Trump has said repeatedly that we now have the best testing system in the world, but the administration has not announced any large-scale push to resolve the supply shortages.
As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, tech companies are stepping into the void left by a reluctant or incapable federal government — enabling contact tracing, wrestling with testing, and ramping up the capacity of government operations like unemployment services, Axios managing editor Scott Rosenberg reported this weekend.
Why it matters: In the U.S., these giant firms — teeming with creative and restless employees, cushioned by big financial reserves and spurred on by the urgency of the moment — have stopped waiting for the government to move and begun taking their own initiative.
Driving the news: On Friday afternoon, Apple and Google, rivals who manage the world's two dominant smartphone ecosystems, announced a joint project to enable phone-based contact tracing using their phones' short-distance Bluetooth-based networking signals.
Meanwhile, on Thursday the Washington Post reported that Amazon is planning to build its own virus testing facility to screen its workers.
The $350 billion small business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) — launched just over a week ago — will run dry in a matter of days, giving Democrats leverage to push more support for hospitals, local government and businesses in underserved communities, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
President Trump was informed in late January of a memo from White House economic adviser Peter Navarro that warned the novel coronavirus could kill up to half a million Americans and cost trillions of dollars, the New York Times reports.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that "no one is going to deny" that more lives could have been saved during the coronavirus crisis if the Trump administration had implemented social distancing guidelines prior to March.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said on CBS' "Face the Nation" that the reason the coronavirus has a disproportionate impact on minority populations is because of the underlying medical conditions that have historically "plagued" communities of color.
President Trump told Fox News' "Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday night that "a lot of facts and a lot of instinct" will help him decide when to recommend reopening the U.S. following the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Christopher Murray, the director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the U.S. would "very clearly have a rebound" in coronavirus cases if social distancing guidelines are eased on May 1.
Chicago drug arrests are down 42% in the weeks since the city shut down — a trend playing out globally as cities report stunning crime reductions, AP reports.
People are able to see blue skies for the first time in years as India's three-week coronavirus lockdown has drastically cut air pollution across the country, the Washington Post writes.
World Health Organization special envoy David Nabarro warned on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the coronavirus is not expected to come in seasonal waves like influenza, and that there will continue to be outbreaks that emerge "sporadically" until there's a vaccine.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from St. Thomas' Hospital in London on Sunday to finish recovering from the coronavirus at a country home, according to CNN.
Public health experts view a major outbreak in a refugee camp as a worst-case scenario in the global coronavirus crisis, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh reports.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
America's economic crisis soon may expand to its states, cities, and towns, Axios' Stef Kight and Dan Primack report.
The big picture: State and local tax revenue is falling, particularly in areas heavily reliant on sales taxes, while spending is up due to added unemployment and medical obligations.
Just look at Arizona, which is near the middle of the pack when it comes to sales tax as a percentage of total state revenue. It had been projecting a $1 billion surplus by the end of its fiscal year in June, but that's since flipped to a $1.1 billion deficit.
The most critical cases may be Florida and Louisiana, which both are in the top 10 for sales tax dependency and have rainy day funds that represent less than 5% of annual expenditures.
There also will be shortfalls in cities, counties, and towns — many of which haven't yet debated or approved fiscal 2021 budgets because of bylaws that didn't anticipate governance-via-Zoom. Bankruptcies are a very real possibility.
The vast majority of Americans, across all age groups, are practicing social distancing, the Kaiser Family Foundation's Drew Altman writes based on recent KFF polling.
Why it matters: The public doesn't always act in its best interests when it comes to health — but this time, people are. And it's helping to "flatten the curve" of the coronavirus pandemic.
By the numbers: At the end of March, between 77% and 89% of all age groups were sheltering in place. Those are remarkable numbers, considering that essential workers are leaving their home and several states still do not have stay-at-home directives in place.
Yes, but: It is entirely possible that people are over-rating their social distancing performance, and there are still questions about how long Americans will be able to keep this up.
Bookings for 2021 cruises have risen 40% compared to 2019 on CruiseCompete.com in the last 45 days, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Why it matters: The coronavirus outbreak has left dozens of ships stranded at sea and unable to dock over fears, Axios' Rashaan Ayesh writes. International cruise lines have had viral outbreaks nine to 12 times a year for the last five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
My thought bubble: I would have bet a lot of money that the opposite of this would happen, so maybe never listen to me again.